As I said in my last post, living here I have managed to amass over 6,00o pictures in my butterfly picture file alone. Of course, I reached a critical mass somewhere in there and realized I was going to have to break those pictures down into some smaller files. I knew a few of the most well known butterflies like the Blue Morpho & Owl Butterfly so I created folders for them. I also enjoyed flipping through the pictures in our book “Butterflies of Costa Rica and Their Natural History” which helped me quickly ID a bunch of other easy to identify species. The wonderful thing I discovered about doing this was that not only did I start to learn the names of the butterflies but turns out I started to get a lot more excited about the butterflies here. Before, most of the butterflies I saw went into my ambiguous mental file of “another pretty Costa Rican butterfly”.
But now, having spent time filing all my pictures into families, subfamilies, genuses, etc I have different eyes for them. When I see our lantana filled with butterflies , I now find myself thinking “That’s a pretty Heliconia, what’s that kind called again?…Oh look its that swallowtail I still don’t have a good picture of yet!… Wait! What’s that one?! I’ve never seen that one before!!!” And so it goes. So much more more fun then just thinking “oh, there’s some more pretty butterflies”